Antonopoulos Declined 'Opportunity' to ID Satoshi, Doesn't Care


Antonopoulos Declined 'Opportunity' to Identify Satoshi and Doesn't Care

Identifying Satoshi Nakamoto is a distraction from the fact that nobody controls bitcoin, says regular commentator and evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos.

Also read: Andresen Denies Hacking as GitHub Access Limited

Formerly Chief Security Officer at Blockchain and regular speaker at major bitcoin events, Andreas Antonopoulos has testified before Senate committees in two countries, authored the O’Reilly book Mastering Bitcoin and appears regularly on the popular Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast.

Antonopoulos Doesn’t Care Who Satoshi Is

Posting on Reddit, Antonopoulos said:

“I don’t know if Craig Wright is SN. I don’t care and I don’t want to know.”

He said he had, two weeks previously, declined the ‘opportunity’ to sign an NDA and participate in the process of proving Satoshi was actually Dr Craig Wright – as other famous bitcoin identities Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis did.

Antonopoulos questioned why ‘Satoshi’ would require bitcoin authority figures to stake their reputations on proving his identity, calling it a ‘red flag’. Satoshi could reveal his own identity in public any time he wished, using cryptographic proof rather than third-party endorsement.

Satoshi’s Identity ‘Irrelevant’

In any case, he added, Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity is irrelevant.

“I think it serves to distract from the fact that bitcoin is not controlled by anyone and is not a system of Appeal-to-Authority. Identifying the creator only serves to feed the appeal-to-authority crowd, as if SN is some kind of infallible prophet, or has any say over bitcoin’s future.”

“Identity and authority are distractions from a system of mathematical proof that does not require trust. This is not a telenovela. Bitcoin is a neutral framework of trust that can bring financial empowerment to billions of people. It works because it doesn’t depend on any authority. Not even Satoshi’s.”

Andreas Antonopoulos tweet
Andreas Antonopoulos doesn’t share the media’s obsession

Mainstream Media Obsession

While identifying Satoshi Nakamoto is always a big story in Bitcoinland, it is a particular obsession of the mainstream media – which cares little about the cryptocurrency other than its price movements, oddball entrepreneurs, use on ‘dark markets’ and its mysterious origins.

Maybe media representatives are trying to ‘normalize’ the bitcoin story by giving it a proper human face, or maybe they’re chasing the only angle they understand. What’s certain is that pinning a real, legally-verifiably human identity to Satoshi Nakamoto is more important to the mainstream media than serious issues like block sizes, scalability, decentralization, blockchain forensics or innovative applications.

If Satoshi’s identity is proven, it’s guaranteed that they’ll be hounded by the media and then approached for comment at every point in future that bitcoin appears in the news for some reason.

This is despite the fact that Satoshi Nakamoto has had no known active input into bitcoin development since 2010.

Do you care about the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto? Would knowing it make any difference to the future direction of bitcoin?

Tags in this story
Andreas Antonopoulos, Craig Wright, Gavin Andresen, Hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto, Satoshi Nakamoto

Images courtesy of YouMeAndBTC, Andreas Antonopoulos.

Jon Southurst

Jon Southurst has been interested in bitcoin since reading Neal Stephenson's 'Cryptonomicon' in 2012. A long-time tech writer, he has been a regular contributor at CoinDesk and has written for, DeepDotWeb and ancient print publications. He lives on an artificial island in Tokyo.

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